Category Archives: Miscellany

Serious about your data backups?

I saw this article today on the new ioSafe SSD devices.

ioSafe makes some pretty nice devices. For people who don’t trust the cloud storage services (got something to backup you REALLY don’t want someone else to see?), or, more likely, need a higher throughput (some users report up to a month for initial backups to internet services), they have some serious devices at pretty remarkable prices.

The regular ioSafe devices are impressive: Fireproof to 1550 F for 30 minutes, waterproof to 10 feet for 3 days, so they will survive your house fire AND the fire department’s hoses. And a 2 TB version is readily available for the low price of less than $375. A bit out of my price range, but the 1 TB version for $220 might not be. It is certainly tempting.

Now you can get the SSD version and have something that most airplanes would be glad to have in their black boxes: It can take a 20 ft drop/1000g for 1 ms, a 5000 lb crushing load (balance your SUV on it no problem), and even better waterproofing for 30 days in 30 ft of water (for those people living on houseboats in Hurricane Alley). The downside is it costs like an aircraft component, listing for $1,250 for a measly 256 GB. That data better be worth some serious bucks.

links for 2010-01-05

Do Not Use Allied Moving Group or Bravo Moving – Ever

My fiance recently scheduled a move from Atlanta to San Jose.  This is, of course, a long move, and will be expensive, so she shopped around, and got a very reasonable quote from Allied Moving Group.  She learned, far too late, that this is not to be confused with the respectable Allied Van Lines.

Allied Moving Group then sub-contracted with a local Atlanta company called Bravo Moving.  This company seems to be just one guy, Louie.  Louie started this move with a brilliant opening salvo: he waited until half of her stuff was already on the truck to tell her the original estimate was off… by about 100%.  Yes, he doubled the estimate. 

The original plan was always to hold the items in Atlanta in storage until she had a destination arranged.  The destination (because of this ring I gave her) changed to Seattle.  So she called them up and said, "Well, the destination has changed, and the mileage has now increased by three percent."  Yes, three percent.  Their response?  "We're going to increase the cost of the move by twenty-five percent, because we're evil."  Okay, I added the italicized part, but that doesn't make it not true.

We asked how long it would take to get the stuff after we tell them to make it happen.  They said some time in the next fifteen days.  Now, this isn't convenient, but I suppose it's understandable, since it is very nearly the longest haul possible in the continental US.  (I suppose Miami to Bellingham would be farther.)  We gave them the go ahead on November 30, in anticipation of arrival before the 15th of December.

When the 13th rolled around and we hadn't gotten any updates, we called and found out that they would be arriving on the 19th or 20th.  This was bad for two reasons: 1) I wouldn't be in Seattle, since I was planning on going home for Christmas early this year, and 2) my new building doesn't allow moves on weekends.  So, I had to contract with a local firm to: 1) accept the delivery with me not there, 2) store the items for a week, and 3) deliver the items after Leslie and I returned to Seattle.  They offered to do this for a very reasonable price (one which was less than the cost of a single day delay for the Bravo Moving driver).

But wait.  It gets better.  The fateful day arrives, our local guy has the cashier's check ready to hand to the driver… and the driver won't accept it.  He will only accept a money order or cash.  We try to make him understand that a cashier's check is exactly the same as a money order.  He seems to have selective deafness when dealing with this issue.  He tries to get Louie on the phone all day.  Louie does not answer.  The move waits for a day.

The next day rolls around, and we finally get Louie on the phone and he says they can accept the check.  The driver calls the local move guy and says he's on his way.  But the local move guy has a scheduling conflict and can't get there exactly at the same time.  There's a delay of three hours.  The driver, therefore, insists that he will not deliver until he is paid three hundred dollars (a hundred dollars per hour) for waiting.  We try to make it clear that there was an extra charge in the estimate for a "long carry", based on the distance from the loading dock to the condo.  Now since there is no "long carry" (they're carrying directly from the truck into a storage facility) there should be a discount, which should make up for some of the waiting time.  The selective deafness kicks in.

Never, ever use Bravo Moving, if you live in the Atlanta area, and never, ever use Allied Moving Group in you live anywhere at all.

Just to make sure this post comes up if anyone tries to Google either Allied Moving Group or Bravo Moving, I'm going to copy these names several more times at the end. 

Allied Moving Group Bravo Moving BAD

Allied Moving Group Bravo Moving BAD

Allied Moving Group Bravo Moving BAD

Allied Moving Group Bravo Moving BAD

Allied Moving Group Bravo Moving BAD

Allied Moving Group Bravo Moving BAD

Thank you for your patience.

links for 2009-11-28

  • I prefer a pointing stick to a touchpad, but if I had to use a notebook with just a pad, this would be *fantastic*: "Most laptop owners have experienced the frustrations of an unpredictable cursor when your wrist grazes the touchpad. Free, open-source utility TouchFreeze disables your touchpad as soon as you start typing, re-enables it when you stop."

links for 2009-08-09

links for 2009-06-13

links for 2009-06-12

  • Including a chart that's rather harrowing. "At this rate, your share of the load will be $155,000 in a decade. How chronic deficits are putting the country on a path to fiscal collapse."